Growing a Trauma Sensitive School
Extension's Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC) partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul began as informal conversations with the school principal who hoped to create a trauma-sensitive school environment. Those conversations have blossomed into a network of over 55 active partners with the school. They include CYFC and other University of Minnesota departments, as well as numerous community organizations.
Many Bruce Vento students are children of Hmong and Karen immigrants, some of whom fled their home countries as refugees. Students experience trauma for several reasons, including hunger and the loss of parents or siblings.
Despite these challenges, students come to school eager to learn, and the Bruce Vento partnership seeks to enable that learning through trauma-sensitive practices at the school. Those practices include:
- A calming room for students to regulate emotional or behavioral outbursts and mental health services for students.
- A community garden for use by students, staff, and the surrounding community.
- Wrap-around educational programming for families and teaching staff.
These concepts have great potential to transfer well to other schools. Watch this short video and hear from project partners about how their powerful collaboration has transformed the lives of Bruce Vento students and their families, as well as staff and the surrounding community.
Watch the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners video.
Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners — CYFC is engaging in a participatory partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School in East Saint Paul to develop engaging learning environments that enhance student learning and wellness.
Historical Trauma and Cultural Healing — Find resources on the importance of considering historical trauma and cultural healing when working with families and communities.
Children’s Mental Health eReview — Our unique online publication reviews research and how it’s used in practice to promote children’s mental health.
Educational Videos — Find research and practice-based content on trauma-sensitive practices, children’s mental health, and community partnerships.